Vancouver Public Schools (VPS) will have a bond measure on the February 14, 2017 ballot to replace several older schools and make improvements at all other schools. If approved, the bond measure will relieve overcrowded classrooms, improve building safety and security and provide learning environments designed for the 21st century.
Brett Blechschmidt, Vancouver Public Schools Chief Fiscal Officer, will be presenting bond information to our members at the January general meeting. Brett took over his position upon Steve Olsen’s retirement in the summer of 2016. Prior to that Brett had spent 19 years with the Educational Service District 112 as assistant fiscal officer on his departure. As CFO, Brett is in a perfect position to explain the need for passage of this bond measure.
This bond measure dates back to 2008, when current and former students; employees; parents; and community, agency and business leaders came together to help Vancouver Public Schools craft a new strategic plan. That plan, called Design II, prioritized pre-kindergarten education, high-quality teaching, digital technology tools, family involvement, safety, positive school climates and programs that help students discover their unique talents and interests.
While VPS has made gains in those areas during the past eight years, the district’s existing facilities do not accommodate all of the goals outlined in the plan. For example, lack of space due to overcrowding prohibits some schools from fully establishing Family-Community Resource Centers to increase family involvement and interested student can participate in certain programs.
The plan to replace, expand or upgrade every school in the district has been developed over the past two years with what’s best for students in mind. Thousands of people – students, parents, family members, employees, board members, volunteers, community members and district partners – have provided input through numerous surveys, meetings, and open houses.
To register for the January HDSCBA lunch meeting, please visit: https://hdscba.org/event/january-2017-hdscba-general-meeting/